Jonathan Cook has a good analysis of the upcoming Israeli elections to be held on March 17, 2015 and the role that US-Israeli relations are playing in it. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be hoping to win by pandering even more than he does presently to the right wing, religious, settler, racist elements in the country. Meanwhile Cook says that European opinion is rapidly shifting towards the Palestinians.
The floodgates have begun to open across Europe on recognition of Palestinian statehood. On Friday the Portuguese parliament became the latest European legislature to call on its government to back statehood, joining Sweden, Britain, Ireland, France and Spain.
In coming days similar moves are expected in Denmark and from the European Parliament. The Swiss government will join the fray too this week, inviting states that have signed the Fourth Geneva Convention to an extraordinary meeting to discuss human rights violations in the occupied territories. Israel has threatened retaliation.
Taking advantage of these changes, the Palestinian Authority is pushing for a vote at the United Nations Security Council for a two-year deadline for Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories and East Jerusalem.
The measure, which presents the Arab and pro-Palestinian position, sets the parameters for an Israeli withdrawal beyond the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem becoming its capital, and advance the process of a two-state solution.
The resolution also condemns violence against civilians and all acts of terrorism and promotes a sovereign, non-militarized Palestine, which would have full UN membership.
All this puts the US government in a quandary as to what they should do. It is tempting to think that the Obama administration, fresh from its laudable move to change the five-decade old futile policy regarding Cuba, may do something similar with a similarly long and failed policy regarding Israel and Palestine and not veto this resolution. But I am not hopeful. It is one thing to defy the aging and increasingly toothless Cuban lobby. It is quite another to take on an Israel lobby that, though weakened, is still potent, especially in the halls of Congress.
But given the fact that much of Europe is likely to support the Palestinian move, vetoing the UN resolution would increase the isolation of the US and Israel. It seems like the US is seeking to delay the need to choose by putting forward an alternative resolution that seeks to wean away the Europeans from the Palestinian Authority’s proposal.
UPDATE: Allison Deger says that the final wording of the resolution presented to the Security Council today gives the US and Israel some wiggle room that may avert a US veto.